08TBILISI1317, GEORGIANS DEMAND ABKHAZ LEAVE ACHAMKHARA HEIGHTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1317 2008-08-01 14:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1317 2141427
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 011427Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9838
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001317 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIANS DEMAND ABKHAZ LEAVE ACHAMKHARA HEIGHTS 
 
REF: TBILISI 1161 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
 1.  (C) Begin Summary and Comment:  In an August 1 meeting 
with Ambassadors from Western Friends of the Secretary 
General, Giga Bokeria, Deputy Foreign Minister, along with 
Vano Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs (MOIA), and 
Shota Utiashvili, Chief, Analysis and Information, MOIA, 
relayed to the group that the Abkhaz have occupied the 
Achamkhara Heights in the Lower Kodori Valley and are using 
this position to direct mortar fire on Georgian positions in 
Kvarchara.  Bokeria reminded the group that the Georgians had 
occupied the same location in June 2007, but at the behest of 
the Friends Group, had withdrawn to prevent further violence. 
 Bokeria requested the Friends Group "weigh in on the 
matter," or the Georgians would remedy the situation 
themselves.  Post is circulating a draft message to the 
Abkhaz from the Western Friends for coordination which will 
be submitted to the Abkhaz and copied to the Russians. (See 
para 3.)  Separately, Bokeria confirmed that two IEDs 
exploded on a by-pass road leading to the Georgian enclave of 
Kurta in South Ossetia on August 1, killing one Georgian 
police officer and wounding five others.  This route is same 
location where the Head of the Georgian-backed Temporary 
Administrative Unit Dmitry Sanakoyev was ambushed in an 
attempted assassination attempt in July (reftel).  End 
Summary and Comment. 
 
2.  (C)  On August 1, Ambassadors from Germany, France, 
United Kingdom and the United States met with Bokeria, 
Merabishvili and Utiashvili, where Bokeria led the discussion 
about Georgian concerns over the Abkhaz occupation of the 
Achamkhara Heights in the lower Kodori Valley, which overlook 
key Georgian police positions in Kvarchara, the Western-most 
Georgian checkpoint in the Upper Kodori Valley.  Bokeria 
mentioned two incidents, on July 9 and July 26, when the 
Abkhaz had shelled Georgian positions with mortar fire 
directed from the heights.  According to a SRSG report dated 
July 23, "On July 9 there as a clash between the Abkhaz and 
the Georgian sides on the Achamkhara heights in the lower 
Kodori Valley. The Abkhaz side claimed that an Abkhaz de 
facto security post was raided by the Georgian side, 
resulting in two Abkhaz reservists being injured.  The 
Georgian side stated that one of its patrols was attacked 
while securing the Achamkhara heights in anticipation of a 
UNOMIG visit to the Kvabchara Valley.  It reported that three 
Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs personnel were injured 
during the July 9 incident."  In June 2007 the Georgian side 
withdrew from the Achamkhara Heights at the request of the 
Friends Group.  Now, the Georgians say the Abkhaz are 
occupying this same position and are using it to direct fire 
on the Georgian police. 
 
3.  (C) The four Ambassadors agreed to draft a joint message 
to submit to the Abkhaz, calling on the Abkhaz to withdraw 
their forces to prevent further conflict.  We have circulated 
the proposed statement (below) amongst the Western Friends of 
the Secretary General.  Post welcomes additional comments 
from the Department. 
 
Begin Text: The Governments of Germany, France, United 
Kingdom, and the United States express their grave concern 
regarding Abkhaz attacks on Georgian police forces from Mount 
Achamkhara in the Kodori Valley.  In order to reduce 
tensions, Georgian troops had unilaterally withdrawn their 
forces from these heights.  Since their withdrawal, Abkhaz 
forces have since taken the heights and have fired on 
Georgian police positions repeatedly (July 9 and July 26). 
In an effort to prevent further violence, Germany, France, 
the United Kingdom and the United States call on the Abkhaz 
side to withdraw immediately from Mount Achamkhara under 
UNOMIG's supervision. End Text. 
 
4. (C)  In addition to police attacks in South Ossetia, 
Bokeria told the Ambassadors that the Russians are renovating 
a military base in Tskhinvali which will support 2,000 
soldiers.  Such construction would violate current 
agreements, and bolsters Georgian arguments for blocking the 
entry of construction materials into the Zone of Conflict. 
TEFFT

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